New Environmental Blog

The Liberty, Ecology and Prosperity blog is about appreciating and protecting the environment, using the tools of economics. The blog manager is Jane Shaw Stroup, a former senior fellow of the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC). John Baden, father of the New Resource Economics, is the lead off blogger.

A Solution for Surprise Medical Bills

More than 4 in 10 patients who visit an emergency room or enter a hospital are confronted with bills for out-of-network services – even though the insurance company and the hospital led the patients to believe that their care would be in-network. In some cases, patients have faced charges that are many thousands of dollars. John Goodman’s solution: insurers and hospitals should not be able to claim the hospital is in the insurer’s network if that isn’t 100% true. Otherwise, its false and misleading advertising. More.

Kotlikoff: The Case for a Carbon Tax

Even climate deniers should be receptive to a carbon tax that is more than offset by reductions in other taxes. The total tax burden would be lower and we would be buying insurance against the bad effects of climate change. So argues Prof. Laurence Kotlikoff in The Hill. More.

Kamala Harris Has a Good Health-Care Idea

She proposes to abolish the ObamaCare exchanges—a signature Democratic accomplishment—and enroll participants in something resembling Medicare Advantage, a program expanded during the George W. Bush administration. That’s better than anything Ms. Harris’s Democratic rivals have proposed. It’s also better than many Republican reform ideas. More.

A Health Plan for Donald Trump

President Donald Trump says he wants health reform that will be better than Obamacare, better than what we had before Obamacare, and better than the Democrats’ Medicare for All. And he’s not alone. Numerous surveys show that health reform remains a top priority for Americans, who are concerned about high costs, access, and choice. More.

Kotlikoff: The Banking System is Ripping Off Ordinary Depositors

The Federal Reserve is paying banks 2.35 percent on their reserves. Banks are paying depositors only 0.06 percent. Competition would eliminate that gap and sensible reform would eliminate the risk of another Great Recession, says economist Laurence Kotlikoff. He points to a “narrow banking” reform, which he first proposed with John Goodman in The New Republic ten years ago. More.

Hayworth on Fox: Hate on the left is dangerous

In this clip titled: “How Do Swing Voters  Like the Squad”, Nan Hayworth talks with Trish Regan of PrimeTime about how the new Democratic “squad” and the tension with Nancy Pelosi may influence the voters. More.

Social Security Is Mailing Out Incorrect Benefit Statements

One of the nation’s leading authorities on Social Security says the system is sending out faulty information to workers, who are trying to plan for their retirement. Social Security told one worker that if he retired at age 66 he would get the monthly benefit he would actually receive only if he waited until age 70. It told him that if he retired at age 62, he would get a benefit that would actually be paid only if he waited until age 66. Kotlikoff says he has confronted the Social Security administration with the mistakes and has not received a response. More at:

Laurence Kotlikoff, Social Security is Mailing Out Incorrect Benefit Statements

Laurence Kotlikoff, Is Social Security Being Hacked? The Wildly Incorrect Social Security Benefit Statement Mystery

Goodman: Trump is unleashing personal and portable health insurance

An Obama regulation stipulated that employers caught giving their employees pre-tax dollars to purchase their own coverage could be fined as much as $100 per day for each employee, or $36,500 a year. This was the highest penalty in all of Obamacare regulations. Thankfully, the Trump administration is eliminating this penalty and much more. Beginning next January, employers will be able to use HRAs to help employees obtain their own coverage with the administration’s blessing. More.